LAYTON -- More than 400 human resource professionals attended the largest conference of its kind in Utah on Tuesday, where they heard their jobs are changing. Now, they need to prepare for a post-recession economy as businesses look for strategies that will lead to long-term sustainability.
That is how Pamela J. Green, a leader in the Society for Human Resource Management, explained the changing times. Green, who spoke about the future of the human resources profession, was one of the keynote speakers at the 2011 Utah Crossroads Conference.
Utah State University's Partners in Business and the Utah Human Resources State Council joined forces to host the conference at the Davis Convention Center.
The conference continues today with speakers and additional training sessions to help those working in human resources be prepared to handle all of the tasks that come their way.
"They do the hiring and firing and deal with the employees' benefits," said Jamie Andrus, director of Partners in Business at Utah State University. "They do a lot of important work."
Along with training to help them perform their duties in the future, attendees also received credits toward their recertification as human resource professionals through the various training sessions and presentations.
Tuesday's seminars covered conflict resolution in the workplace, conducting internal investigations and a positive approach to performance management.
Another big part of the conference is networking, so much so that organizers actually changed the schedule for this year's conference.
"We implemented something new this year, as we provided more time for networking," said Danene Dustin, Crossroads Conference director. "We hope the attendees are happier, because they wanted more networking opportunities. Also, the exhibitors wanted more traffic coming their way."
Nearly 60 exhibitors set up booths in the expo center, offering advice and demonstrations on different types of human resource-related services.
"That's about 10 more (exhibitors) than we had last year," Dustin said.
One of today's keynote speakers will help the attendees find motivation to succeed.
Rohan Murphy, whose talk is called "Never Giving Up: No Legs, No Problem," was born with deformed legs that were amputated when he was 4 years old. After a successful wrestling career in high school, Murphy wrestled at Penn State University. He is also an accomplished power lifter, competing in international competitions throughout the world.